Nutrition · Pregnancy

Need to gain more weight in your pregnancy? Here are some tips.

Pregnant Woman Being Examined At Home By Midwife

Sometimes pregnant women find it hard to gain weight in their pregnancies due to lack of appetite, nausea and/or vomiting.  Gaining a healthy amount of weight in pregnancy will help:

  • your baby to grow and develop
  • you to have a healthy weight baby
  • your body get ready to breastfeed your baby.

How much weight should I gain by the end of my pregnancy?

The amount of weight you should gain by the end of your pregnancy is based on your weight, height, and age before you were pregnant.  Everyone’s body is different.  So, you may gain a little less or a little more than what’s suggested and this may be okay.  Check with your doctor, midwife or dietitian to see if you’re gaining enough.

On average after your 13th week of pregnancy, most women gain about one pound (0.4 kg) of weight a week (with underweight women gaining a little more weight, and overweight/obese women gaining a little less weight per week).

I’m not gaining enough weight in my pregnancy.  What should I do?

  • If nausea and vomiting is affecting how much you eat, try:
    • Eating small meals every one to two hours.  Eating more often will help to keep your stomach settled and ensure you get enough nutrition.
  •  If you don’t feel hungry, try:
    • Taking a walk or being more active to stimulate your hunger
    • Choosing foods that are higher in protein and energy like:
      • nuts and dried fruit
      • cheese and crackers
      • yogurt, berries, and homemade granola
      • peanut butter on whole grain bread with a banana
      • hummus and pita
      • homemade cream cheese on a whole wheat bagel
      • sliced avocado on toast
  • If there are specific foods you can’t eat or that make you feel unwell, try:
    • Choosing foods that you like or that appeal to you.  Don’t force yourself to eat foods that you can’t stomach.
    • Eating cold foods like salads or sandwiches since they are less likely to have a strong smell.

Have more questions about gaining weight in pregnancy?  Contact us at Toronto Public Health and speak directly with a Registered Dietitian.

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